Greater China Legal History Seminar Series - "The Development of Legal Compliance – A Hong Kong Perspective" by Prof. Douglas Arner
8 March 2019
<< Recap of 2018-19 Seminars

While twenty years ago the term legal compliance was more or less unknown this has changed significantly over the past two decades. In fact, legal compliance is nowadays sometimes even regarded as a separate industry. Legislators, business organizations, the legal profession and to a certain extent also providers of legal education have responded to this development in various ways.

This seminar explains how the concept of legal compliance has developed, what the historical reasons for the rise of this new area are, how different stakeholders have been driving forces behind this development and how they have reacted. It explains different compliance tools and structuring options and what the advantages of strong compliance systems are, focusing on the role of technology, under the rubric of ‘RegTech’.

The seminar also explores if industry specifics or special features of particular jurisdictions are determining factors for the development and design of compliance systems. In this regard it focuses on Hong Kong’s legal system and culture to exemplify what legal compliance means in a particular context. The seminar concludes with a summary and an outlook as to how legal compliance will develop in the future followed by a Q&A session.

About the speaker

Douglas W. Arner is the Kerry Holdings Professor in Law at the University of Hong Kong and one of the world’s leading experts on financial regulation, particularly the intersection between law, finance and technology. At HKU, he is Faculty Director of the Faculty of Law’s LLM in Compliance and Regulation, LLM in Corporate and Financial Law, and Law, Innovation, Technology and Entrepreneurship (LITE) Programme. He is a member of the Hong Kong Financial Services Development Council, an Executive Committee Member of the Asia Pacific Structured Finance Association, and a Senior Visiting Fellow of Melbourne Law School, University of Melbourne. He led the development of the world’s largest massive open online course (MOOC): Introduction to FinTech, launched on edX in May 2018, now with over 35,000 learners from every country in the world. Douglas served as Head of the HKU Department of Law from 2011 to 2014 and as Co-Director of the Duke University-HKU Asia-America Institute in Transnational Law from 2005 to 2016. From 2006 to 2011 he was the Director of HKU’s Asian Institute of International Financial Law, which he co-founded in 1999, and from 2012 to 2018, he led a major research project on Hong Kong’s future as a leading international financial centre. He has published fifteen books and more than 150 articles, chapters and reports on international financial law and regulation, including most recently Reconceptualising Global Finance and its Regulation (Cambridge 2016) (with Ross Buckley and Emilios Avgouleas). The RegTech Book (with Janos Barberis and Ross Buckley) will be out at the beginning of 2019. His recent papers are available on SSRN at , where he is among the top 150 authors in the world by total downloads. Douglas has served as a consultant with, among others, the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, APEC, Alliance for Financial Inclusion, and European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and has lectured, co-organised conferences and seminars and been involved with financial sector reform projects around the world. He has been a visiting professor or fellow at Duke, Harvard, the Hong Kong Institute for Monetary Research, IDC Herzliya, McGill, Melbourne, National University of Singapore, University of New South Wales, Shanghai University of Finance and Economics, and Zurich, among others.

The Hong Kong Law Society has awarded this seminar 1.5 Continuing Professional Development (CPD) points.